LibriVox recording of By Ox Team to California - A Narrative of Crossing the Plains in 1860, by Lavinia Honeyman Porter. Read by Sue Anderson.
Imagine a young, twenty-something woman in 1860, reared “in the indolent life of the ordinary Southern girl” (which means she has never learned to cook); married to a professional man who knows “nothing of manual labor;”who is mother to a young son; and who has just found out she is pregnant with their second child. Imagine that this couple has become “embarrassed financially” by “imprudent speculations,” and that they are discussing what to do. They decide to buy a wagon and three yoke of unbroke oxen and head overland to California.
"We were two such precious dunces,” writes Lavinia Honeyman Porter in her autobiographical account of their journey across the plains. “In a short time the six oxen were bought, driven to our home and turned loose in our barnyard--wild brutes, as handy as with their heels as with their horns. Not one of us was brave enough to venture into the corral with them and we soon concluded we had six white elephants on our hands.” From there on in, Lavinia's adventures get worse—and then better. For those who enjoy true stories of pioneering days and happy endings, this is an enjoyable read.
(Introduction by Sue Anderson)
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March 25, 2017 Subject:
A story of intrepid Americah pioneers
Stunning; appalling, courageous. If you want to get an inkling about the trials of our brave pioneer ancestors, this is a must read. This is another treasure given to us by reader Sue Anderson.
October 4, 2011 Subject:
Wonderful first person account
What a treat to hear a first person account of life in 1860.
Excellent recording and reading with just the right amount of emphasis for effect.
September 29, 2011 Subject:
Can we give more stars!
This was a great story but mostly what made it great is Sue Anderson's wonderful narration. Ms. Anderson has always been one of my favorites and she does her usual wonderful job with this story. I normally don't like biographies and such but this story really makes you feel like you are walking right along side these weary pioneers. Great work Sue many many thanks!
July 29, 2011 Subject:
This is a very matter of fact story. There's a fair amount of humor, but also some very harsh and sobering moments. From the graves they pass along the way, to the cruel taunting some classes of emigrants give the natives, and their own fear of and protection from the natives, Lavinia tells us what she experienced with very little embellishment. It is hard to imagine walking 6 days out of 7 for six months. I still can't fathom how they made it through weeks and weeks of deserts with 8 animals to water, not to mention themselves. It gives me a new appreciation for the hardships of the pioneers.
Sue Anderson did a wonderful job reading this book. Her reading style matches the author's writing style perfectly - so that it was Lavinia who was speaking to us through Sue.